Not many businesses accept checks anymore, and for good reason. It’s quite simple to pass off a bad check when paying for groceries or buying a shirt at a department store. Even if the act was unintentional, you could face felony charges for writing an invalid check. If you’ve been charged with writing a bad check, it’s important to understand the details with a lawyer who knows the business.
Passing Bad Checks Felony Statute
Citation: MO Rev Stat § 570.120 (2013)
A person commits the crime of passing a bad check when:
(1) With purpose to defraud, the person makes, issues or passes a check or other similar sight order or any other form of presentment involving the transmission of account information for the payment of money, knowing that it will not be paid by the drawee, or that there is no such drawee; or
(2) The person makes, issues, or passes a check or other similar sight order or any other form of presentment involving the transmission of account information for the payment of money, knowing that there are insufficient funds in or on deposit with that account for the payment of such check, sight order, or other form of presentment involving the transmission of account information in full and all other checks, sight orders, or other forms of presentment involving the transmission of account information upon such funds then outstanding, or that there is no such account or no drawee and fails to pay the check or sight order or other form of presentment involving the transmission of account information within ten days after receiving actual notice in writing that it has not been paid because of insufficient funds or credit with the drawee or because there is no such drawee.
A person can be charged with a felony when passing a bad check if:
- The face amount of the check or sight order or the aggregated amounts is five hundred dollars or more; or
- The issuer had no account with the drawee or if there was no such drawee at the time the check or order was issued, in which cases passing bad checks is a class C felony.
Penalty of Conviction
Bad check writers who write an invalid check of over $500 could be facing a felony crime. They may find themselves paying fines of over $5000 and facing up to seven years in jail for each bad check. In order to receive the best scenario possible, it’s important that you reach out to a trusted lawyer for consultation.